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Old Country in the New World: Saint Clair, a 19th-Century Coal Community

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Entering the 21st century in a heavily urbanized nation, few things seem more foreign than the lives of the 19th-century coal miners of northeastern Pennsylvania. In rough-hewn small towns scattered among the rolling hills, these miners labored to excavate a substance as vital to their daily lives as electricity is today, yet today these miners have become little more than the vague images of old photographs: largely overlooked by history books and remembered, if at all, primarily by their descendants. But the experiences of life in the coal district is part of a much larger story.

This exhibition features images of people and places in the Schuylkill County coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. Some were taken by Anthony F. C. Wallace during his research for St. Clair, others are reproductions of 19th-century images held in the collections of the Schuylkill County Historical Society.